Datsun Z-Series (240Z, 260Z, 280Z) Spark Plug Replacement Guide

240Zs, 260Zs, and 280Zs all use the NGK BP6ES spark plug.

There will inevitably come a time in your Z-Car ownership when you will need to replace your spark plugs. Some decide to replace their plugs fairly often, every 10,000 miles or so. This is fairly normal for a vintage car like the Z, but you can likely get away with waiting a bit longer than that if you wish.

Obviously, if you experience signs of spark plug failure, it is likely time to replace your plugs regardless. On a 240Z, 260Z, or a 280Z, your best bet is to purchase a set of NGK BP6ES spark plugs. Of course, you can find other (equivalent) plugs, but the BP6ES is the tried-and-true option for this car. If you wish to purchase online, you can buy these here. Although these come pre-gapped at 0.031in (0.8mm), you will want to make sure you double check the gaps with a spark plug gap gauge that can accommodate the gap range we are looking for, such as this one.

If you would prefer to watch a video of this guide, it is embedded below or you can watch directly on YouTube by clicking this link.

Model Spark Plug Gap (Range)
240Z 0.8mm-0.9mm, 0.031-0.035in
260Z 0.8mm-0.9mm, 0.031-0.035in
280Z 1.0mm-1.1mm, 0.039-0.043in


Spark Plug Naming Conventions

Note that you may come across a few NGK plugs that have similar model numbers, such as the BPR6ES-11 (which we also sell) or the BP6ES-11. These are ultimately the same plug, but have slight differences. The ‘R’ in BPR6ES-11 simply means that the spark plug features a resistance band which is used to suppress electrical interference caused by sparking. This can be helpful in cars that have on-board computer systems such as the 280ZX. In a vintage car like the 240Z, a resistor plug isn’t really necessary. In fact, resistor plugs actually cause a decrease in spark power, but it is so slight that it wouldn’t really make a noticeable difference. The ‘-11’ in BPR6ES-11 or BP6ES-11 is the same plug, just pre-gapped to 0.044in (1.1mm). Since you will likely be gapping these spark plugs yourself, whether or not the plug you buy is pre-gapped is probably irrelevant.


Removal and Installation

To remove, you will want to use a 21mm or 13/16in deep/sparkplug socket, such as this one. You may find that some plugs do not look all that worn or in need of replacement, but in general it is always a good idea to replace all 6 at once with brand new plugs. If you choose to use anti-seize, be careful not to apply too much. Lightly applying some grease to the threads should be enough though. Torque the plugs to 11-15 ft. lbs.

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